I can freely admit that I know very little about coal mining, beyond anecdotal newspaper and magazine articles read, or the viewing of the great John Sayles film, 'Matawan', as well as the tremendous 'October Sky' (both films, incidentally, starred heralded character actor Chris Cooper - little wonder why both films were so good).
So watching last week, the unfolding, that got grimmer-and-grimmer (as in today, with the reports that the six trapped miners are, in all likelihood, dead, and won't be recovered), news of the Crandall Canyon Mine Collapse in Utah, while I couldn't comment as an expert, I certainly could see that there was just too much wrong about this picture.
For one, you had mine owner, Robert Murray (admit it, it crossed your mind that he had to be the runner-up to Joe DeRita, in final run of the Three Stooges) giving his folksy, and ever so anguished, press conferences, often lying, blaming the initial, as well as subsequent, collapses on "seismic events", shielding away any discussion about his dangerous process of "Retreat Mining".
And you had the Bush Grindhouse, rushing to the scene Mine Safety and Health Administration Director Richard Stickler, a man so odious that he was rejected by the Senate for the post, so the Decider Guy had to sneak him in the back door with a recess appointment.
Not surprising that our good friend, Barry Crimmins, took on the story, with his post last Friday "Down with the King!".
And when you visit, be sure to take a good, long look at the "moonscape" photograph on what's left over after a mining operation
Crooks and Liars: Bob Murray uses Utah mining tragedy to attack Global Warming
Max Follmer: Utah Mine Owner Attacked Post-Sago Safety Proposals
Arianna Huffington: Why Are the New York Times and So Much of the Traditional* Media Neglecting a Vital Part of the Utah Mine Collapse Story?
Mine Owner Bob Murray has been pointing to everything but himself regarding the Crandall Canyon Mine Collapse